14 May 2008

Wow. Just . . um, wow.

Let me preface this by saying that if I find out that any of my children do this in college, I'll throttle them for the profs.

I'm sitting here, on my lunch hour, frantically working on finishing my final project for marketing grad class presentation tonight.

Phone rings.

Undergraduate--who is not my student, btw: Um, hi.

Me: Hello, UC, can I help you?

Undergrad: Um, I heard that you have the capability to TiVo stuff.

---Aside: We do. We have three of 'em hooked up to record stuff for our news archive.---

Me: Well, what exactly are you looking for?

Undergrad: Well, um, like I'm working on my final project for a paper, and I need clips of the governor's races commercials. They are supposed to air for the first time, tonight. Can you clip those for me?

Me: Well, we do have TiVo, but we have it set up to clip items that we need for work. We don't have anyone on staff who can set this up for you right now. Currently, all of our student staff is gone. (This is true. The last techie left yesterday. We're slammed with work for commencement/board meeting. I'm not helping this guy out.)

Undergrad: Well, but I have no way to save those commercials to my computer.

Me: Sorry. I can't help you; there's no one here who can do the clips right now.

And I hung up.

This annoys me on three levels--

1) Who has the nerve to call an office out of the blue, on a long shot, and ask for a major favor like this? I don't know this guy from Adam. I might do it for a student I know and trust, but even then, I'm not trusting our glitchy TiVo setup to just anyone.

2) This guy acted like I would help him, if he just explained why he was in a hole. Not. My. Problem.

3) This guy should have, I don't know, PLANNED OUT a way to get the clips if they are so important to his paper.

I get that we are to be supportive and all, but I didn't bail my kindergartener out last night when he had to redo homework. I'm surely not saving some undergrad's skin when I'm frantically trying to do my work + my homework.


Scott said...

Has this kid not heard of the Internet?!? I'm sure YouTube or the candidates' websites would have what he's looking for. Idiot...

Sherrie said...

That was my thought, too.

You know, the YouTube. Fark. Something. Google video. Campaign websites, maybe?

Or call the campaigns and ask for a low-res version. I doubt they'd cough it up, because it's gonna be an ugly race and the potential for spying from the other side is high, but you could at least ask.

Or, hey, just watching the commercials and doing your best to analyze them, like we did, back in the analog dark ages. :)

Gina said...

I wonder if this kid's mom calls the university and complains when he gets a bad grade.

Anonymous said...

What college kid can't get a hold on the Stone Age VCR? They aren't that expensive, especially the tapes.

Again, there is always Google or something this day and age...

- Stef

Sherrie said...


I have no doubt that will happen. RateMyStudents.com is filled with horror stories like that.

Gina said...

I'm thinking it's already happened. Otherwise, this kid wouldn't have thought to call you.

Perhaps, as the helicopter parents retire, and people in our generation start sending kids to college, this kind of silliness will subside. That's my hope, anyway.

Sherrie said...

Heaven knows I'm not helping my kids once they get to college.

We had a talk with C1 about how we paid our college bills. It was an eye-opening experience for her.

She takes the ACT next year as a baseline as a part of her gifted program. We were talking about our scores and how they factored into the money we did or didn't get. You could see the hamster starting to turn the wheel, especially when I pointed out that between scholarship and jobs I paid for nearly all of my entire college bill by myself. And I had to, because my parents couldn't afford to help me out that much.

Now granted, that's nearly impossible to do in this day and age, but I'd like for her to start thinking about how grades matter long-term.

Regardless, if I'm not bailing my kindergartener out, I'm surely not bailing out some college-age guy I don't know.

Kim R. said...

I'm coming a little late to this discussion, but I had to add my own little tid-bit.

One of my personal care attendants is 21 and going into her senior year at Sacramento State. Whenever the tiniest thing goes wrong in her life -- be it academic woes, financial problems, issues with her landlord roommates, car troubles -- she calls her dad and tells him to fix it. And even though he's half-way across the country, daddy saves the day.

It's infuriating and frustrating for me as her employer. At least daddy hasn't called me yet.

Sherrie said...

Kim, I just don't get it.

I mean, had I called my parents about this (which I never did), they would have laughed and told me to figure it out.

I was so proud of one of my students' parents a few years ago. She had a flat tire, and she was calling them to help her fix it. She was on campus. It was a driving rainstorm. Her parents, called separately, said the same thing: "Honey, you are 21. Figure it out."

She's now a responsible human being with a position that requires some dedication. I have to believe that their drawing the line helped.